The shining light of European democracy, fairness, and human rights justice, The Netherlands, is turning out not so democratic, fair and just after all, this following an investigation into some rather dubious practices by Dutch officials in relation to the soon to be held EU elections.

A number of years ago the then Dutch Government passed laws as to remove off the register Dutch people who had migrated and/or moved to countries such as Australia, New Zealand and no doubt other countries such as Canada.

Apart from being legally doubtful in international as well as EU law, the move rendered 'no longer Dutch' thousands of Dutch-born people who still wished to remain Dutch citizens, despite the fact that their new environments were good enough to take up local citizenship, a process known more commonly as duel-citizenship, a process allowed for in International law.

The citizenship farce came to light again in recent times when Dutch people in Australia began to receive letters and pre-registration forms in relation to the upcoming EU election following which, after they filled out the forms, the same people received letters stating that they were not eligible as they were no longer Dutch citizens.

Case one is Klaas, not his real name. Klaas came to Australia during 1964, on his own.

Klaas has been dumped by the country in which he was born and to which he still has a legitimate heritage and legal attachment.
While he took up Australian Citizenship as he was more than happy to be living in Australia permanently at the time, Klaas still regarded himself as being Dutch, as do most Dutch people regardless of the fact that they live in Australia or anywhere else for that matter.

Klaas learned of the new Dutch anti-expatriate moves a few years ago and applied for a Dutch passport. He got one.

Now it turns out that Dutch officialdom, incompetent as it is, no longer regard Klaas as being Dutch, despite the fact that he was born in Holland, had Dutch parents, worked in Holland prior to coming to Australia, voted in the last Dutch elections and even has a, now expired, Dutch passport. In other words, Klaas has been dumped by the country in which he was born and to which he still has a legitimate heritage and legal attachment.

Case two is Jan, also not his real name. Jan came to Australia when he was only 18 years old.

He also became an Australian citizen.

He applied for a Dutch passport in order to get easier access to Europe as a whole and perhaps even to stay in Holland if he so wished.

He was refused a Dutch passport on the grounds that he was not Dutch.

There are many other similar cases that investigations have turned up all showing the same kind of callous, irrelevant bungling by the Dutch bureaucracy, showing no regards for its own constituency, in other words, a Dutch bureaucracy out of control and having illusions as to its own importance.

There are a number of things that need to happen here.

All Dutch citizens who have lived in foreign countries for more than 10 years should be contacted by Government as to ascertain if they still wished to be regarded as Dutch citizens.

All legitimate EU and Dutch rights of former Dutch citizens must be guaranteed by the Dutch Government regardless of the fact that people might or might not have lived in third countries for a long time and heritage and birthplace citizenship rights must be guaranteed by legislation.

The Dutch officials who presided over this farce must face disciplinary action, in my view they should be sacked.

In relation to the EU elections it must be said that the Dutch EU representatives will not legally be eligible to sit in the EU Parliament if those Dutch people living in other countries are denied their democratic right. But then, it seems democratic rights don't mean much in Holland these days.

No doubt legal processes at this farce are likely to be forthcoming.